On the North Shore of Staten Island, there is the neighborhood of Graniteville. This neighborhood received its name from the quarry of granite that ran through the area. Between the mid-to-late 1800s, the granite was quarried for the building of roads and walls on Staten Island. It was not until years later that it was found that the quarry was actually made up of diabase, and not granite.

After the quarry was closed, excess dirt from where new houses were being built was filled into the quarry and it turned into a vacant lot. In the mid-1970s, Dr. Alan BenimGraniteville Quarry Park, Staten Islandoff, a current professor at the College of Staten Island, was surveying the land and found a rare stone within the diabase. This stone is called trondhjemite and is only known to be found in Wales and South Africa, as well as the Palisades Sill, which is what makes up Graniteville Quarry.

The Palisades Sill was created about two hundred million years ago. There was a huge earthquake that broke the bedrock apart and molten rock filled in the gap. As the molten rock cooled within the gap, a piece of the bedrock settled within it and it merged with the molten rock. Years later, during the last ice age, the Wisconsin glacier scraped against the rock and exposed the diabase rock, along with the trondhjemite.

In 1999, the State of New York acquired this land.  They began to transfer parts of the site to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in 2000.  By 2010, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation received the last of the land, making it about four and a half acres in size. This park is known today as Graniteville Quarry Park and is located between Forest Avenue, Eunice Place, Wilcox Street, and Van Name Avenue.gqp1_400

As of now, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has maintained this park as an undeveloped natural area. With the help of the Mariners Harbor Civic Association, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is trying to clean up the site and make this a passive park.  They would like to clean up this park and add plantings and pebble walking paths.  They would also like to polish and enhance the rock formation, which would include brass plates that would identify the rock types. A sign would be placed in the park to inform visitors of how the rock was actually formed, and a nice, iron gate with rock pillars would be installed to show the entrance of the park.

Posted by Anthony Licciardello on


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